24 Mar 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

7:53 am on 24 March 2020

Latest - The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been thrown into further doubt after Canada became the first major country to withdraw.

The Canadian flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Photo: AFP

Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, admitted for the first time that the games could be postponed.

Australia's team said it was clear the games could not go ahead, while the British Olympic Association said it was unlikely to be able to send a team.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has called on the IOC to make a quick decision on the staging of the games.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide in four weeks' time.

It said postponement - but not cancellation - was an option being examined.

Champions League final officially postponed

This season's Champions League final, Europa League final and women's Champions League final, all due to be played in May, have been formally postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA says no decision has been made finding a new date for the finals, amid a shutdown of European soccer due to the coronavirus pandemic that has no end in sight.

Only four teams advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals before the remaining Round of 16 games scheduled on March 17-18 were postponed.

All three competitions are currently suspended along with almost every European domestic league because of the coronavirus.

UEFA last week postponed the Euro 2020 tournament until next year.


Has the last A-League game been played

Newcastle has upset Melbourne City 2-1 in what is likely to be the last A-League football game for the forseeable future because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Football Federation Australia is expected to announce the suspension of the A-League season today.

The National Rugby League suspended its season last night.

The Wellington Phoenic are currently in their 14-day self isolation period in New South Wales after deciding last week to base themselves in Australia for the rest of the season.


Another F1 GP called off

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix, due to take place on June 7, has been postponed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The street race in Baku is the eighth race to be called off at the start of the 2020 World Championship season.

Race organisers said they would work closely with F1 "with a view to announcing a new race date later in 2020".

The Canadian Grand Prix, on 14 June, is the first race on the schedule that has not been postponed.

Seven Grands Prix - Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Azerbaijan - have been postponed, while Monaco has been cancelled altogether.


NZ Badminton Open postponed

The New Zealand Badminton Open has been postponed because of the virus.

The Open was scheduled for the North Shore from April 28 to May 3.

CEO of Badminton New Zealand Joe Hitchcock's thoughts are with everyone involved in the tournament, but also with the wider community.

"We have left this decision as late as practical to give the tournament every chance of proceeding and yet have also wanted to communicate in a timely manner that allows our stakeholders, partners, volunteers and everyone working on the event the clarity required to change their plans accordingly.

Du Plessis offered a new contract

Former captain Faf du Plessis has been offered a new 12-month contract by Cricket South Africa, suggesting he will extend his international career beyond October's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

Du Plessis had said that he would review his international future after the tournament. But having been named as one of 16 recipients of a national contract for the 2020-21 season, he now looks set to be available for the next South African summer, which includes home tests against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Du Plessis has handed over the captaincy in all three formats to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.